The ninth and final meeting of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill ended in New Delhi on Tuesday, where the civil society activists and the government exchanged their versions on various aspects of the bill.
Maintaining that they “agreed to disagree”, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters after an hour-long meeting that differences could not be resolved on around eight key issues.A draft bill, which could be a combination of views of both the sides or separate, will be taken up by the Union Cabinet before introduction in Parliament during the Monsoon Session.The key issues on which differences remained even after the ninth and last meeting of the 10-member panel included bringing the Prime Minister, higher judiciary and acts of MPs inside Parliament within the purview of the Lokpal, the mode of selection and removal of its members.
The government draft which was unveiled at the meeting excludes the Prime Minister, said activist Arvind Kejriwal.
“They gave their draft, we gave our draft and there was a short discussion…on important issues there was no agreement. These are six issues (on which views have been sought from political parties) and one or two more issues,” Sibal told reporters after an hour-long meeting.”We agreed to disagree,” he said adding, the differences related to changing the existing system of governance.
“There are two-three days. If they (Hazare team) wish to give comments on our drafts, they can do so…we hope the differences are resolved,” Sibal said.Both the drafts will be circulated among political parties in a meeting next month before being taken up by the Cabinet, he said.
The HRD Minister, who was one of the five ministers in the joint committee, insisted that the government would bring a “strong” anti-corruption bill as “we had promised”.